Poland boys’ basketball preview

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After making only two previous quarterfinal appearances and never winning, Poland made an unforgettable run through No. 3 Spruce Mountain, No. 2 Morse and No. 1 Greely to reach the state game in 2014. The Cinderella journey ended with a loss to Old Town in the final.

The Knights are younger this season, but still tall and athletic with Alan Young and John Fossett leading the way. Michaud’s grit and leadership will anchor the backcourt.

Many key players simply had to wait their turn on a senior-dominated team, and now will be their opportunity to shine. Zach Lowe, Adam Mocciola and Pat Kuklinski fall into that category.

The middle of the WMC pack may be even deeper in 2014-15. Coach Tyler Tracy expects local rivals Gray-New Gloucester, Fryeburg and Lake Region all to be much improved. But the Knights showed a year ago that a gaudy regular-season record won’t matter if they are poised to play their best basketball in February.

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Coach: Tyler Tracy (fifth year)

Last year’s record: 13-9, Western B champions

Returning athletes: Seniors — Alan Young (6-3 forward), Derek Michaud (5-7 guard), Zach Lowe (6-3 forward), Adam Mocciola (5-10 guard); Juniors — John Fossett (6-2 forward), Pat Kuklinski (5-7 guard).

Key losses: C.J. Martin (5-10 guard), Josh Gary (6-4 forward), Tyler Michaud (5-10 guard), Shawn Murphy (6-3 forward), Billy Bickford (6-1 forward).

Promising newcomers: Juniors — Jared Martel (5-10 guard), Trevor Saunders (5-10 guard); Sophomores — Caleb Hodgkin (6-1 forward), Quinn Callahan (6-0 forward), Nate Chouinard (5-9 guard).

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